What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are a major macronutrient and the primary source of energy for the body and brain. In terms of structure, there are two types of carbohydrates: SIMPLE & COMPLEX.

They are called carbohydrates because, at the chemical level, they contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Unlike essential amino acids and fatty acids, there are no essential carbohydrates. This means we can obtain everything we need nutritionally from other food sources, so carbs are not necessary to maintain life.

SIMPLE CARBOHYDRTAES are the smallest and simplest types of carbohydrates, known as mono- and di-saccharides, meaning that they contain only one or two sub-units of sugar. These types of carbs are quickly absorbed in the body, resulting in a spike in blood sugar and a boost of energy. These need to be minimised in your diet to help balance your blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Common Sources of Simple Carbohydrates

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRTAES are called polysaccharides since they have more than two sub-units of sugar linked together. These types of carbs take longer to be broken down in the body. The slower digestion means that there is no rapid spike in blood sugar, the energy release is prolonged, and they can help to balance your blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Common Sources of Complex Carbohydrates

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